The Benefits of Underwater Treadmill
Do you have trouble getting your pet to exercise due to physical limitations such as osteoarthritis, muscle weakness or even weight issues? The less active a pet is due to any of these reasons the more their muscles will atrophy, making it even more difficult for your pet to exercise. But don’t fear, there are options for your pet that can make exercise enjoyable again!
Underwater treadmill therapy has become a very common practice at Packerland Veterinary Center. For anyone who has ever done water aerobics, you know how relaxing the warm water can feel. Water has therapeutic properties that can improve range of motion, boost endurance and strengthen muscles. Water therapy is considered low impact which greatly reduces the risk of injury to the patient while aiding in postoperative fracture care, rehabilitation of soft tissue injuries, weight issues, geriatric care, osteoarthritis and muscle weakness. The thermal effects of the water help relax pets during therapy and lessen pain. It also increases blood flow to help speed recovery, and helps the connective tissues become more flexible for better range of motion.
The buoyancy of the water aids in the rehabilitation of weak muscles and painful joints. The height of the water can be adjusted which alters the buoyancy and alters joint motion. The properties of the water minimize the amount of weight bearing on the joints therefore decreasing pain and increasing endurance and strength without adding excess stress. Water exercises are generally less painful than land exercises because of the support that buoyancy provides. This is especially beneficial for the overweight or arthritic patient.
The speed of the treadmill is also customized to each pet, based on their size and how much exertion the pet exudes. The rate of the exercise is always dictated by the pet’s specific needs and physical condition. As the pet’s strength and endurance improve, the speed and height of the water are adjusted accordingly.
So if your furry friend needs to get out of the house for some exercise, underwater treadmill is a very beneficial and effective form of exercise for your pets, especially if they have physical limitations.